Sheriff Voutour throws out first pitch at 'Cap Classic'
Staff Reports Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour is no stranger to baseball.
In fact, when the fifth annual New Era Cap Classic Tournament was held recently at New Era Park for the An-Jo’s 12U Division, the honorable Sheriff Voutour was there to get things started.
A former local youth and high school great in Wilson (and a member of the 1983 state-champion Lakemen baseball team) coached by Lockport School District Athletics Director Patrick M. Burke, Voutour threw out the first pitch in the New Era Classic, which was held last weekend at the An-Jo complex on Davison Road behind the Niagara County Infirmary buildings.
AnJo Baseball League President Todd Fragale said there were 25 teams from the Northeast and Canada, including teams from North Carolina and Oklahoma, at the tournament.
In the championship game, the Clarence Red Devils faced off against the Rochester Bobcats. It started off quickly with Clarence putting two quick runs on the board in the first with a home run, but then turned into a defensive duel. The Bobcats went on to win, 7-5.
Prior to the start of the championship game, Voutour threw out the ceremonial first pitch, tossing a perfect strike low and away to 10-year-old Colin Fragale, the son of Todd and Lockport elementary teacher Christine (Incardona) Fragale of the Town of Lockport.
Colin, an aspiring catcher and first baseman, already has vast experience in this and other leagues, having competed this year in the Lockport Little League House, the 10U Green Wave travel team, the American and National divisions of An-Jo Summer Baseball and on the DeSales Catholic School junior varsity team.
Voutour is a distinguished member of three local Hall of Fames — the Western New York Baseball Hall of Fame, the SUNY Brockport Hall of Fame and the Wilson High School Hall of Fame.
Voutour, who was also a catcher in the Detroit Tigers organization, has been the Niagara County Sheriff since 2008.
In addition to the great baseball action there were a host of vendors with tents and RVs from companies that included Mizuno and Louisville Slugger, to name a few.
The New Era 10U-11U Division tournament was held two weeks ago.
The next two tournament at An-Jo Fields will be held Aug. 9-10 and on the 11th when An-Jo and New Era host the Buffalo Wings Baseball Tournament and the New Era College Showcase. The Wings tourney is for 11U and 12U baseball teams and the New Era College Showcase is for 18U softball teams.
At the showcase, scouts from colleges throughout the state get a chance to preview and talk with the areas most talented softball players.
More information on the league and tournaments can be found at anjobaseball.org or newerapark.com.